By: Molly Rush
That’s the title of a column in the April 11th Wall St. Journal. It was written by former officials George Schultz (Secretary of State), William Perry (Secretary of Defense), and Sam Nunn (Chair, Senate Armed Services Committee).
“The U.S., its allies and Russia are caught in a dangerous policy paralysis that could lead—most likely by mistake or miscalculation—to a military confrontation and potentially, the first use of nuclear weapons in nearly 74 years. A bold policy shift is needed to support a strategic re-engagement with Russia and walk back from this perilous precipice. Otherwise, our nations may soon be entrenched in a nuclear stand-off more precarious, and disorienting than the Cold War…. ….
Deterrence cannot protect the world from a nuclear blunder or nuclear terrorism…The risks are compounded by the rising possibility that cyberattacks could target nuclear warning and command-and-control systems, as well as the continuing expansion of global terrorist networks.”
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists last year moved the Nuclear Clock to 2 minutes before midnight. NUKEWATCH reports that Don’t Bank on the Bomb has been making headway in the campaign against investing in nuclear weapons. Swedish pension funds, the Belgian bank KBC and Germany’s giant Deutsche Bank have all stopped making these investments.
Locally, Stop Banking the Bomb’s persistent protests at PNC and at their April 23 shareholders meeting, give hope that PNC could, with increasing vocal support, follow their lead. Along with others, I have closed my PNC account and let them know the reason why.
The media has largely ignored the UN Resolution to abolish nuclear weapons, which was signed by 122 nations, but not by the nuclear states, including the U.S.
At the Vatican conference on abolition, Pope Francis made a similarly strong statement, defining these weapons as sinful. Where is the strong support for the U.S. Catholic Church to follow his lead? At the 1981 trial of the Plowshares 8, the judge refused to allow the testimony of expert witnesses, including psychiatrist Robert J. Lifton, who had described psychic numbing as a response to such overwhelmingly frightening threats.
My own experience has been that making the risky decision to take action is a refusal to despair, and even to find hope. Being involved with others in the struggle is very important. That’s what Don’t Bank on the Bomb means to me.
Molly Rush is the co-founder of the Merton Center in 1972, past staff and board member, and a member of the Editorial Collective